Tonight is the longest night of the year. Beginning tomorrow morning, the sun will start to rise earlier each day, and set later each afternoon. I’m ready!
A number of folks have been asking for updates since my birthday post, in which I mentioned the chronic foot infection in my bone and ankle joint stemming from my earlier body-wide e coli infection. The various doctors involved had arrived at the point where they had sent me to an amputation specialist in preparation for cutting my foot off. And, well, there hadn’t been any news since then as they discussed how best to proceed. Revel continued to (heroically) give me IV antibiotics through a central line in my chest each day; blood work continued to be done; I’ve had a couple of additional MRI’s; and the baffled medical wizards of nephrology, infectious disease, podiatry, and orthopedics continued to scratch their collective body parts. They couldn’t fix it, but it also wasn’t getting worse the way they would have expected.
Much of their puzzlement and hesitation has been that there has continued to be chronic inflammation, and a couple of persistent pockets of fluid, one in the bone and joint, that wouldn’t go away – yet they’ve never been able to grow a culture of anything virulent from that fluid, so they didn’t know what it was. And for about six weeks now, the infection markers in my blood labs have been decreasing, even though the fluid persists.
So, they hung back from following through on amputation until they had a clearer idea of what was happening. A couple of weeks ago, they decided to stop the antibiotics and see what happens. And, perhaps coincidentally…the foot started to heal. The wound closed, it’s been 12 days now since there was any seepage, an MRI this past Saturday showed the pockets of fluid decreasing slightly, and, most importantly, I got a call tonight from my doctor that the latest bloodwork shows no infection markers at all. None11
So, at this point, the solstice news is that they definitely won’t be amputating (hooray (!!!!). And, the order has been put in to have the central IV line removed, probably later this week. That means, after three long months, no more daily IV sessions. We’ll watch what happens, and hopefully the infection won’t come back – but regardless, I’ll be keeping all my limbs and appendages for the foreseeable future. That’s an odd but spectacularly welcome solstice and Christmas present.
Otherwise, the usual struggles continue, especially financial – I’ve got about $500 in urgent bills, and I’ve been waiting for days for a paycheck from a company whose controller screwed up paychecks for free lance writers last month, so it’s way overdue and I’d been counting on that income. Between us, Revel and I have about $10 to our names this evening, and we’ve basically run out of things to sell. We’ve both put off some of our prescription medications to get this far, but meds and utilities especially need our immediate attention. (Any short term holiday loans or gifts would help hugely! The PayPal button is at the lower right…)
But: my health is finally getting better, Revel’s tendon damage and breaks in her feet are finally starting to heal, and as we head into the new year our love and caring for each other are stronger than ever. I really would not have made it this far without her. Or without you folks – my gratitude for the support and concern you’ve all shown is beyond words. Thank you, Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and keep kicking!